Sleepy hollow awakens

MOST people tend to conjure up images of Mandurah as a sleepy fishing village or a large scale retirement home.

But in the past decade the sleepy hollow of Mandurah has woken up and is now a thriving centre of residential, commercial and industrial development.

Mandurah is at the heart of the Peel Region, the State’s fastest growing region and biggest residential centre outside the metropolitan area.

The region has a rapid annual growth rate of about 4.7 per cent.

Add to that the Perth-Mandurah rail link and the extension of the Kwinana Freeway and it becomes no surprise that the region’s population of 76,600 is predicted to almost double by 2016.

Mandurah itself is expected to house just over half of this and – with the bulk of development to date being housing estates – it is well positioned to do so.

The best known of these housing estates is the Port Mandurah canal development.

Boasting ocean views and a luxury lifestyle, the innovative and award-winning project was developed by Cedarwood.

“The canals development has certainly helped change the image of Mandurah,” Cedarwood marketing manager Michael Glendinning said.

“All lifestyles can be accom-modated in the Peel region, with prices for land ranging between $30,000 up to some of the Port Mandurah blocks which are around $400,000

“People are attracted to Mandurah because they see it has changed from a sleepy hollow into an urban centre with everything residents would expect and demand.”

More than 500 lots in the Port Mandurah estate have been sold since 1990, with only 120 lots left in stages five and six.

The Mandurah business community is also growing and changing.

Mandurah Peel Chamber of Commerce executive officer Leonie Hanson said while the existing business community was predominantly made up of small and micro businesses, changes were afoot.

“The development in the Peel region is quite diverse … there are a lot of opportunities in this region,” Mrs Hanson said.

“We are now finding that franchise businesses want to come into the area as well as more showroom retailers.

“We are now looking at ways to attract bigger businesses to town, which is a long process.”

But the focus would be on commercial and light industrial developments rather than general or heavy industrial developments.

Peel Development Commission regional development officer, George Richards, said an industrial area was next on the agenda.

“We do have a priority to establish an industrial area down here but nothing like the Kwinana industrial strip,” Mr Richards said.

“We are looking at clean and green industries … we want the technology industry down here, industries that do not produce a lot of waste or pollution.

“Lakes Road has been identified, by a lot of people, as an ideal location for industry … it will have good access to the metropolitan area, via the extended Kwinana Freeway.”

The secret of Mandurah’s success is no big secret, according to City of Mandurah mayor Keith Holmes.

“Mandurah is a great place to live, it has a very relaxed lifestyle but with all the modern amenities and facilities that are required, and expected,” Cr Holmes said.

“Residential land here is much cheaper, you really get more for your dollar.

“No doubt the development of the canal estates has lifted the image of the area but we have not confined ourselves to that kind of upmarket development, there are housing developments for people from all kinds of financial backgrounds.”

Better transport services have also contributed to the success of the Peel region.

“With the workforce now more mobile, people are prepared to make the sacrifice of commuting to work so they can live in Mandurah,” Mr Richards said.

“The rail link is due to reach Mandurah in 2005 and again will make the city more accessible to local residents – and Mandurah more accessible to residents of Perth.

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